If your cordless riding lawnmower won’t start, the most obvious cause, in most cases, is that its battery is out of charge. You can easily recharge a mower battery by following the manufacturer’s instructions. As with any appliance, always read the instructions manual regarding safety rules, before you charge the lawn mower battery.
To make things easier for you, we are providing all the steps you need to know in order to charge a lawnmower battery using a charger. We will also discuss the procedure to recharge a riding mower battery using a car battery.
How to Charge a Riding Lawnmower Battery with Charger
Read, understand, and follow the safety instructions that come with the battery and its charger. Note that unsafe practices can lead to hazards of shock or fire. Keep the instruction manual in a place where you can locate it easily and where it can be safe from moisture, dirt etc. Wear eye goggles and work gloves to ensure maximum protection.
Know When to Charge the Battery
You may have to fully charge the lawnmower battery when you first buy the mower. You must also charge the battery in spring, especially if your mower has been sitting idle for several months during winter. If your lawnmower won’t start, then too, charging the battery is one of the basic steps to follow in order to restart it, as the battery is probably dead.
It is also a good idea to recharge the battery completely before packing up the mower for the winter. If you have accidentally left the ignition switch on then you might have drained the battery in which case you’d need to recharge it before using the mower.
Know Your Battery Type
This isn’t a necessary step for the lawnmower’s battery charging process, especially if your mower is brand new and your manufacturer has provided you with the charger and other tools needed to recharge the battery. A situation might arise when you have to buy a replacement charger or battery pack. In such a case, it is important to read the user manual and buy only that replacement battery pack or charger made for that particular model.
Know What Charger to Use
Never use a charge with a batter pack it is not compatible with. Modern riding mowers use 12V whereas older models use 6V batteries. So use a charger that is made specifically for that battery voltage. Also, ensure that the charger has an output of 10 Amps or less. Protect your battery from damage by using the proper Ampere rating.
Unplug the Battery Charger From the Outlet
Most modern lawn mowers allow you to charge the battery without having to remove it. Before making the cable connections, it is important to unplug the charger from the wall outlet.
Make the Connections
Lifting the riding mower’s seat, connect the red charger cable to the red positive terminal of the battery. Connect the negative or black terminal with the black wire cable. Select 12V and 10A settings on the battery input selection panel before you plug in the charger.
Battery Charging Times
Battery charging times for riding lawn mowers vary based on various factors including the age of your battery, the type of battery, and even the brand of your mower. Modern riding lawn mower batteries can be fully charged in about 1 hour on a 10 Amp setting.
You might have to charge the battery longer if you select charger settings lower than 10 Amps and also depending on the age of your battery. The good thing about modern mowers is that they come with an auto shut-off feature that stops charging as soon as the battery is fully charged.
Once Fully Charged, Disconnect the Battery
Once the battery shows full charge, remove the plug of the charger from the outlet. Also, remove the positive and negative terminal cables and lower the riding lawn mower seat. Your riding lawn mower battery is now fully charged for further use or storage.
If Issues Arise
In case your battery is not holding charge, a quick ‘ohm’ test can tell you if your battery needs replacement. An ohmmeter can help you show this or you can take your battery to a service station. Some lawn mower battery charger-displays come with a ‘Trouble’ indicator light which can show you if it needs replacement. We will now discuss how to charge a riding lawn mower battery using your vehicle’s battery.
How to Charge Lawn Mower Battery Using a Car Battery
If you want to know how to jumpstart a weak lawn mower battery using a car battery, here are the steps:
Use this method to charge a lawn mower battery using a car battery only if it is an absolute necessity or if you have misplaced your charger. Do not use this method too often since jump-starting a riding lawnmower battery using a car battery can reduce your battery’s life and could indirectly impact your mower’s performance. It could even harm the delicate charging system and lead to long-term damage.
Also, use this method for charging a lawnmower battery only if it is a 12-Volt battery. Do not use this method to charge lawn tractor battery with a 6 Volt rating. This can damage the charging system permanently. Note that batteries contain acids and could create explosive gases. So, charging with improper voltage could lead to electrical or fire hazards.
Check your manufacturer’s instruction manual to know the voltage of your system. Always wear gloves and safety goggles, do not lean over the battery and definitely no smoking nearby. Minimize risks of fire/shocks by reading all safety instructions. Never use another riding lawn mower to recharge the battery of your lawn mower or lawn tractor. Always use an automobile.
Park the lawn mower on a level surface and make sure that its parking brake is engaged. Follow the instructions provided in the mower’s manual for starting it. You may have to shut off the mower’s blades before starting the engine. Lift the mower’s seat to expose its battery terminals.
Park Your Car Near the Mower
Once you bring your vehicle near your mower, turn off its engine. You must never ‘jumpstart’ while keeping the vehicle’s engine running. Open the vehicle’s hood.
Make the Connections
Now, connect one end of the red jumper cable to the lawnmower battery’s positive terminal. The red wire will go to the positive terminal. Make sure that no part of the cable touches any metallic surfaces in the mower or the vehicle. This is necessary to avoid sparks and also protect the good battery from damage.
Next, connect the black jumper cable to the vehicle battery’s negative terminal. The other end of black wire will go on the metal part of the mower. Make sure this is far away from the fuel tank. This should jumpstart the dead or weak battery. You can now turn on the ignition to start the mower’s engine.
Time to Disconnect
- First, disconnect the black jumper cable connected to the mower’s metal frame away from the fuel tank and the mower’s battery.
- Next, disconnect the black jumper cable from the vehicle’s battery’s negative terminal.
- Then disconnect the red jumper cable from the vehicle battery’s positive terminal.
- Finally, disconnect the red cable from the mower’s battery.
Fully Charge the Mower Battery as Soon as You Can
Use the steps given in the guide above to charge the lawn mower battery using its charger. If you have lost, misplaced, or damaged the charger or its cables, it is better to buy a replacement soon. The battery won’t charge at all, it may be time to replace it. If needed, check the ohm reading using a meter to know if it is holding charge. If not; it is best to take it down to a service station.
FAQs on How to Charge a Lawn Mower Battery
Q: What is the Average Life of a Lawnmower Battery?
A: Standard lawn mower or lawn tractor batteries can last an average of 2-3 years.
Q: How Often Should You Replace a Riding Mower Battery?
A: In most homes, lawnmowers are left sitting idle during the winter months. Therefore, you can expect the battery to last not more than 3 years. If, after ensuring that your terminal connections are tight your battery does not hold charge or tends to lose charge quickly, it may be time to replace it.
Q: How Much Time is Needed to Fully Charge a Lawnmower Battery at 6 Amp?
A: On a battery charge setting of 10 Amp, you can charge it fully in an hour. For a setting of 6 Amp, you can expect a full charge in 4-6 hours depending on the age of the battery.
Q: Why is My Lawnmower Battery Not Charging?
A: A bad battery having a damaged charging system can cause it to lose charge quickly. If you find that your lawn mower battery keeps dying or does not charge at all, then it may be time to replace it.
We hope this brief guide helps you answer the question, ‘how to charge the battery for a lawn mower?’ If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult an experienced technician.